Nothing Has Changed…Yet!

Reading Facebook, Twitter or the Washington Post this past weekend you might think that the conviction of Paul Manafort, the guilty admission of Michael Cohen, the cooperation of Allen Weisselberg and David Pecker have changed the political world. Yes, the landscape has changed. We have evidence presented in court that Donald Trump’s presidency was achieved through a series of illegal acts – acts that Trump knowingly participated in. But, Donald Trump is still President and on Thursday key Republican Senators who were supporting the Mueller investigation publicly signaled that Trump can fire Sessions - and then Mueller - after the November election. It is time to act. We must win at least one house of Congress in November. Mueller won’t save us, but we can save Mueller.

The Continental Divide is barely 70 miles from where the members of the MWR editorial board live. Once you crest the high point at Loveland Pass or the Eisenhower Tunnel there is a break in the drive and momentary relief. Now the dangerous descent begins.The flashing highway signs bring us back to the task at hand - “Don’t Be Fooled/ 4 More Miles of Steep Grades and Sharp Curves” and “Truckers You Are Not Down Yet.” Much like the political landscape facing all of us today, the road ahead is steep and treacherous.

The most important news last week wasn’t about the felons or the flippers, but the statements by Senators Lindsey Graham and Chuck Grassley that they will support the removal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions after the mid-term elections. With the death of John McCain and the retirement of the Trump-skeptics in the Senate, there are fewer and fewer restraints on this renegade administration. If Republicans hold both houses of Congress, the Mueller investigation could be terminated by Christmas. None of Trump’s crimes will be investigated. Either we deliver a majority to the House or Senate, or Trump has a free hand for two or, perhaps, six more years. Again, the road ahead is steep and treacherous.

In state after state, Republicans are conducting a coordinated effort to deny legitimate voters their voting rights by manipulating voter ID rules, limiting voting hours, closing long standing voting sites and spreading misinformation about who can vote. This effort includes Republican elected officials, local conservative activists and Russian trolls on Facebook. While we hope for a “blue wave,” Republicans and their allies are sabotaging the road ahead. 

This election is a referendum on Donald Trump, but it will be won by local and regional candidates, one at a time. Some of us live in highly contested districts or states and the work at hand seems obvious – support local voter registration initiatives, volunteer to canvass and make phone calls and, importantly, donate now to local Democratic candidates. We don’t want to cramp your style, but this is not the year to vote for a third party candidate, no matter how compelling. Anything that splits the anti-Trump vote is a pro-Trump vote.  

Everyone, no matter how blue or red your state or district, can do something to help secure at least one house of Congress. In the coming weeks, we will make suggestions for how you can make a difference even if you live in an uncontested district or state. And remember, state legislative races are just as important as Congressional ones both for local policy and for the post-census redistricting that will affect the balance of Congressional districts to come.

We at MWR are going to shift gears for the long ride into the November 6thelection. In the coming weeks we will be making suggestions of practical steps you might take during the next 9 weeks – how-to tips on effective volunteering, campaigns you might work for, important news and events you should know, and how to deal with the flood of campaign accusations, Russian trolls, Facebook freak-outs and the rollercoaster ride of a hard fought election. 

Call To Action

Let’s get started:

  • Check that your voter registration is up to date. Do NOT assume you are registered; double check. If you live where voting rules have become more draconian, make a hard copy of the proof of registration, learn what a proper voter ID is in your state and then talk about the importance of this to everyone you know. And we mean everyone!
  • Do the research to choose who you want to actively support. If you are unsure of who to help check out the organizations on our Election 2018 Resources page. In the coming weeks, we will give you suggestions about how to find interesting races. 
  • Make a phone call to a campaign office and introduce yourself. Figure out work that you are comfortable doing and set a date to go to work.
  • Send money to your chosen candidates today, this week at the latest. If you are going to donate money as part of your resistance, do it now. This helps campaigns hire staff, pay expenses and plan media buys.
  • You can contribute to most Democratic campaigns through ActBlue, an online fundraising clearing house. If you wish, ActBlue will keep an ongoing account of who you donate to and provides links back to specific campaigns.
  • Many national organizations are asking anti-Trump activists to mark their calendars to volunteer in person during the days before the election.  Block out Saturday – Tuesday to help get voters to the polls and make sure they cast their ballots. 
  • Finally, tell your Senators - no matter who they are - that Brett Kavanaugh must never sit in judgment of Donald Trump and his illegitimate presidency. He must state unequivocally that he would recuse himself from any and all cases involving investigations of Donald Trump.